Health Care Debate: Planned Parenthood vs. US Catholic Bishops

I was sifting through the Facebook updates this morning and ran across a link to an article from the Catholic News Agency about an interchange between Planned Parenthood and a spokesperson for the US Catholic Bishops. In the heat of the healthcare debate, let's just say some words have been exchanged. This was, however, one of the more thought-provoking articles on the subject of abortion within the Obama health care plan.

Planned Parenthood's statement? "“Seems that, if the U.S. Conference had its way, the national health care system would make American women second-class citizens and deny them access to benefits they currently have,” she charged."

Second class citizens? Really? Funny, even Kourtney Kardashian seems to have done her research enough to know that abortion is not actually good for women. Perhaps she should have a chat with Cecile. In fact, it seems that little of Planned Parenthood's arguments actually stood up to the facts supported by research (and not just pro-lifer research either, for those that would claim bias).

For me, the most poignant part of the article was the response of Richard Doerflinger, associate director of the USSCB’s Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities. Calm, cool, no name-calling - everything the Church should be. In his response, he challenged Planned Parenthood's claim to be pro-choice, saying "“To get into the government-run health plan you must buy abortion coverage. That’s contrary to personal choice. Maybe she should be joining us in our effort.”"

Well, I don't see that happening any time soon, but kudos to you Richard! Apparently, the only approved choice is forcing those opposed to abortion to allow their tax dollars to pay for it.

I highly recommend reading the whole article - it was most definitely thought provoking. It's not a pro-lifer's dream statement, but it is the most cogent and reasonable compromise I've heard yet. It certainly challenges both sides. To our pro-life advocates, the challenge is to not use this bill to try to eliminate legal abortion, so that our poorest might receive healthcare. There is no question that we should continue to fight the good fight, but perhaps in another venue. To Planned Parenthood, the challenge is to demonstrate that they really do believe there is a choice and that both choices are equal and should remain choices.

And now, the ball is in Planned Parenthood's court.

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